Behind “Holidays With Jane”: Goliath Grouper


In the newest collection of Holidays With Jane stories, my Fanny Price is an aspiring marine biologist in charge of observing the family’s little patch reef.

Fanny Price runs Mansfield Motel, the family business in sunny South Florida, mostly on her own. But she dreams of following in her Uncle Thomas’s footsteps and becoming a marine biologist. She plans to talk to her cousin Eddie about her dreams when he comes home for Spring Break. But when he brings along Henry and Mary Crawford, trouble starts to brew. Fanny watches her precious future begin to slip away. With everything on the line, will Fanny finally speak up for herself? Or will she be stuck running Mansfield Motel for the rest of her life?

Fanny loves tallying the creatures and keeping her eye on the residents of the reef, including the nosy Goliath grouper, Mrs. Norris.

As if she was jealous of the attention Fanny was paying to the other fish, Mrs. Norris came swimming lazily out of her hole to say hello. The fish had certainly earned the name “Goliath grouper” at nearly twice the size of Fanny herself. She’d earned Fanny’s respect, though, by keeping her watchful eyes on the reef and scaring away many of the predators that might have destroyed the fragile balance.

A Goliath grouper is a huge fish–sometimes over 8 feet long and 800 pounds–that likes warm water and dark holes. They can be pretty nosy, too! When I was thinking of characters from Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, I knew I had to have Mrs. Norris in there somewhere…and this seemed to fit perfectly!


And, as you’ll see when you read the story, Mrs. Norris plays a pretty big role in what eventually happens…

Have you ever been up close with a big fish? Tell me about it in the comments! You can get your copy of Holidays With Jane: Spring Fever here.


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